This painting was created in the afternoon, right after finishing the one in my previous post. Days that aren’t cold and windy are still few and far between so I try to get in as many as I can on crisp, sunny days. I found these two barns at the end of a long country road south of Saline. They were still standing, but not long for this world. Thought I better capture them when I could…
I painted this piece early one April morning just south of Saline, Michigan. Still no leaves on the trees but the grass had begun to green up a bit. I was drawn to the diagonal shadow on the porch and the starkness of the early spring scene. The landscape was beginning to perk up and come to life.
I’m on a plein air painting “practice mission” for the next couple of months. I will be attending at least 3 plein air festivals this summer and I need to work on “my game!” I think I will be working only in oil, so that’s what I plan on focusing on every day…
Another oil portrait study, this time playing with a complementary color scheme: dull blue gray and warm yellow orange.
Below you can see the session in progress, with photo credits to Peggy Brewer, www.artistpeggynbrewer.com our fearless leader and wonderful artist.
(I don’t know what is wrong with my blogging software, but for some reason I can’t imbed links any more. AAAARRGGHHHH!!)
In the springtime around Saline there are a lot of a little streams created from the snow melting. These creeks completely disappear in the height of summer and dry ditches take their place. But they make interesting little views while they’re here.
I painted this piece, as usual, working out of the back of my mobile studio–my trusty SUV. I usually try to find an interesting scene along a road where I can pop up the back door of my vehicle to create an overhang which blocks the sun and throws both my canvas AND my palette into shadow. (Trust me. Painting en plein air is extremely difficult if you have one of your surfaces in shadow and the other in sunlight. You simply cannot accurately judge color that way.) All of my extras, like phone, water, garbage bag, etc., stay in the back of the SUV and I don’t have to portage them around. But when a roadside view isn’t possible, I pack everything into my extremely light weight Open M Box Kit, grab my Shade Buddy Umbrella and walk into the fields or woods. I’ve finally gotten my plein air supplies down to a very manageable size and weight and I can carry everything I need in just one trip. At first I didn’t want to give up all of the extra, just-in-case items that I used to lug around. But now I definitely feel the freedom of packing light!
There’s still time to sign on for a wonderful 2-week painting trip to Italy with teacher Nora Venturelli! I’m going back to La Romita for the third time because it’s a perfect place to tour and paint the hill towns of Umbria. (And if you’re a regular reader of my blog, you know how much I adore Italy!) Nora is an encouraging and informative teacher who spends time with all of us, trying to coach us to our best work. She was instrumental in bringing my oil paintings to a higher level.
La Romita is a dream come true for artists but it’s great for non-artists as well. We stay in a beautiful 15c Monastery with a comfortable air conditioned bus that takes us to a fascinating old Italian village every day. The scenes above show some of the views we stop to paint. All our meals are prepared by Umbrian cooks and accented with rich, local wine. But the best thing for me is that EVERY SINGLE THING is completely taken care of. All I have to do is wake up, wonder what adventure we will go on that day and decide how I will try to capture the feel of it. That’s my idea of pure heaven.
You can paint in any medium you wish and all levels welcome. See the flyer below and join us!
Nora Venturelli: http://www.venturellistudio.net/